I knew it

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18262058/
Gender pay gap begins 1 year after college
Study finds women make only 80 percent of salaries of male peers
Actually for a long time I didn’t know it because I made more money than my husband.  At first it was because I worked in the private sector, and he in the public.  Then I went to business school and got a job in consulting while he went to law school.  And even after he landed a job as an associate, I still made more because I had been in the workplace longer.  Now after 2 maternity leaves, some part-time work, I find myself stagnant in pay, while my husband’s has continued to go up and surpass me (I keep remindind myself – this is not a competition, this is not a competition…)
But what is a competitive working mother supposed to do?  The article goes on to say: "
Even after controlling for hours, occupation, parenthood, and other factors known to affect earnings, the study found that one-quarter of the pay gap remains unexplained. The group said that portion of the gap is “likely due to sex discrimination.”
Imagine that – discrimination in the worklplace.  I can’t believe.  Of course I can – I have worked in very male-centric environments and there are few woman role models.  But can discrimation really still exist in this day and age?  Is it too easy for us as women to hide behind our lower salaries and cry discrimination, when in fact it’s more about a personal choice?  The article goes on to say,
Catherine Hill, the organization’s director of research, said: “Part of the wage difference is a result of people’s choices, another part is employer’s assumptions of what people’s choices will be. … Employers assume that young women are going to leave the work force when they have children, and, therefore, don’t promote them.”
Well – that I can somewhat believe.  People assume I don’t want to travel (not every day, but a night in a hotel room by myself sounds like heaven after sleeping on my 2-year old’s floor).  People assume that I need to take it easy when I come back from maternity leave – wrong – please don’t leave me so bored at work that I regret I came back…Engage me! 
So how do, working women/mothers respond?  What can we do?  Stand up for ourselves – the squeaky wheel gets the oil.  The one who asks for the promotion gets it – you’ll find a way to handle it.  Learn how to combine work and motherhood and set an example.  Sometimes I tell myself I am being a Higglytown Hero just by getting up and going to work every morning as a mother – I am showing my teachers, my friends, my family and my bosses, that yes, it can be done.
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